FACTS ABOUT ME

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Hey, guys! Since I haven’t done this before, I thought it would be fun to share a couple (or 30) things about myself so you can get to know me better! Grab a kombucha and some popcorn and let’s get STARTED!

1.) I’ve lived in the same town in Virginia my entire life.

2.) I have an older brother which was the main reason as to why I was such a tom boy growing up – and sort of still am.

3.) I’ve never not had a pet, whether it was a hamster, fish, rabbit, cat or dog. At one point, I had 10 pets.

4.) Toy Story was and will always be my absolute FAVORITE Disney movie. End of story. When I was a child, I actually dressed up as Woody for three Halloweens in a row.

5.) When I was young, I wanted to be a “dolphin trainer” – until I realized it wasn’t natural or right for them to be contained somewhere.

6.) I’ve always been a beach girl and I feel most at peace when I’m wearing little to no clothing with sand beneath my feet.

7.) I have a huge imagination which can be both a good and bad thing because although it allows me to be creative and think outside of the box, I also have trouble focusing at times haha.

8.) I’m a planner but I’m also very impulsive which is quite a stressful combination.

9.) I feel everything to the MAX.

10.) I’ve been an on and off vegan for the past 4 years but am currently a vegetarian.

11.) My favorite color has always been any variation of blue.

12.) I love to laugh and enjoy making others laugh, too. Most of the time it’s me that’s the joke, so am I actually REALLY that funny? Don’t answer that. This is about me.

13.) I love photography and videography and I used to make little “movies” as a child starring any kid I could find in my neighborhood as the actors. Sorry, Ben. Still feel bad about making you eat that.

14.) I was homeschooled up until I was in 9th grade.

15.) I love fashion and the weirder it is, the more I vibe with it.

16.) I’ve always wanted to be able to play an instrument but after attempting to play the guitar and having my teacher ask me if I needed glasses because I was so terrible that he just assumed that I couldn’t see  (LOL) I realized it wasn’t in the cards for me.

17.) I love to paint and draw even though I’m not very good at it.

18.) I played soccer as a toddler up until my junior year of high school.

19.) I’d much rather stay in a tent than a hotel.

20.) Four years ago I traveled to Hawaii for a couple of weeks and a part of my heart was left there.

21.) Creating and sharing stories whether it’s with a camera or a keyboard is a passion of mine.

22.) I’ve never traveled outside of the US but I have a few places in mind that I plan on adventuring through within the next few years.

23.) I currently have two dogs and it’s very rare that you’ll see me without at least one of them.

24.) I’m a MASSIVE Harry Potter fanatic and even though I’ve read the books and seen the movies thousands of times, I still cry when it comes to an end.

25.) I have three tattoos.

26.) I know my future holds loads of kids and loads of animals – so sorry for the guy that ends up with me. You’ve been warned.

27.) I’ve been getting into yoga and meditation recently and it’s an absolute game changer.

28.) I love changing my hair color when I can and I had blue, pink and purple hair at one point.

29.) I would eat pasta at every meal if it was healthy and acceptable.

30.) I have no idea what I’m doing but I’m having fun doing it anway because if there’s one thing that I’ve learned this past year, it’s that life is so so so SO short.

If you read all of that you deserve an award, or a cookie. A cookie and an award. To be honest, I have neither of those things but just know that you’re awesome! I hope you all have a lovely rest of your week 🙂 xoxo

TRIP TO NYC // AIRBNB

Its been a while since I’ve posted on here, but instead of explaining why I thought I would just start “anew” with my trip to The Big Apple! This was honestly such a spur of the moment idea but it turned out to be one of the best trips I have ever taken. It also happened to be my first Airbnb experience which also did not disappoint!

I’ll link the spot that we stayed at at the end of this post because it was in quite a convenient area! It was in Manhattan within walking distance from Rockefeller as well as Grand Central Station. The price also wasn’t too shabby either. 😉 How stinkin cute is this place?! Answer…. VERY. It felt like I was in a dream the entire time I was there. Apartment goals forsure!

Roxanne, the lady we rented from, was also very nice and accommodating! The check in/out time was quite flexible as we arrived in NYC around 9 that morning and our check in time wasn’t until noon. When we asked, she said her friend could give us the key so we could go ahead and get settled, so we ended up checking in immediately! How sweet was that? We took an uber there and once we sat our belongings down in the city that never sleeps…. We SLEPT. We’re still laughing about that now and how ironic that was, but we had no shame.

It’s a good thing we got that extra rest though, because once we started moving, we didn’t stop. Ever. I think we hit about 5 spots within half of a day to just make sure we were going to get to at least see the majority of the things we wanted to see, even if it was only brief. We hit up Times Square first and I’m going to be honest… It was such a spectacular place to see especially around this time of year, but it definitely wouldn’t be on my list of spots to see again. In my opinion, as well as my brother’s, it was the kind of thing that’s only worthwhile seeing once or twice, unless you’re into shopping and waiting for an hour to eat $35 entrees and appetizers. Definitely spend more time elsewhere if you plan on heading down!

As far as the nightlife scene goes in NYC, you can’t really go wrong, but you can go really RIGHT. East village actually happened to be our favorite spot for drinks and just an overall vibe. For appetizers and drinks, I would definitely recommend Death & Company. They had a happy hour that lasted until 8 with half off drinks, and not just your typical shitty bar drinks either. REAL drinks. The bartender was also super genuine as well even cracked a few jokes with us even after my brother spilled his drink all over the counter (still laughing about that one, too.) The Google Flatiron was another favorite spot, though again I wouldn’t spend an extravagant amount of time unless you really wanted to. At that time, they happened to have a giant snow globe pop up which was actually amazing. Imagine a giant ball pit that allows ADULTS. Let that sink in.

Central Park, to no surprise, happened to be one of the biggest highlights of our visit. It’s so massive that you could spend hours there without realizing that you still haven’t seen but just half of the entire park. Biking wasn’t something we were able to do at the time but it’s definitely on our list for when we go back.

Before I show a few more pictures, because this post could actually be quite long but I’m trying to keep it short and sweet and talk about my favorite parts, I did want to mention a diner that we just so happened to stumble upon one night after searching aimlessly for SOME place to eat that was affordable and near where we were staying. After about an hour of walking the frustration and hunger started to take over all of us and that’s when we saw Scotty’s Diner, literally a block away from where we were staying. We honestly just walked in because we were desperate at that point, but MAN am I glad we did.

If you’re looking for a family friendly diner with a TOTAL New Yorker’s atmosphere, this is the place. Once we were ready to order, our waiter came over, sat across of our table and simply said (with such a New York accent), “Talk to me.” Yup. Still laughing about that as well. That’s what sold us RIGHT off the bat before we had even tried the food, which also was amazing. We came back the next morning for breakfast. Great service is hard to come by nowadays but this place had it together and that alone made me give them a 5 star rating. Check em’ out!

Over all, New York was one of the dreamiest places I’ve visited thus far and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t already planning another trip up there. No matter where you end up there, you will ALWAYS find something to do, regardless of how old you are or how much money you have. It’s a city that’s filled with hope, dreamers and people who are all looking for something more…. Or maybe just a good time. Either way, if you haven’t been, it should definitely be on your “to do” list!

See you again soon, NYC. Miss you already. Below is the link to our Airbnb as well as the diner and bar that we loved!

https://www.airbnb.com/users/show/145549672

scottysdiner.com

www.deathandcompany.com

BATH PRODUCTS I USE // VEGAN + CRUELTY FREE

Recently I’ve discovered SO many bath products at Target that are vegan AND cruelty free! It’s become such a convenient place to shop as well as affordable! All of these products shown were under $10 which is such a steal. Go to Target, NOW!vegprod.jpgI like to switch up my shampoos and when I do, it’s one of these two! I also have the conditioner that goes with these, however, I don’t like using it because I find that it really tangles and dries my hair! My hair is quite thick though as well as long, so it definitely has to do with the type of hair that you have. I LOVE the shampoos, though, and the smell is heavenly. The lemon one is obviously for clarifying so I only use the once a week. (I generally wash my hair every 3 days or so, so both shampoos are actually used equally.)vegproddddd.jpgThis lavender shampoo is my absolute favorite. The smell is so dreamy and it makes my hair super soft. veganproddddddddThis is the conditioner I use every single time I wash my hair. Like most people, I only apply it midway down my hair to the ends, and because this one is super rich and moisturizing, you’ll definitely want to make sure you do just that! I find that this goes perfectly with the shampoos that I use and adds the perfect balance to my hair. Combing my hair when I get out is a BREEZE with this product. vegproddveganprodddd.jpgNow, you guys…… This body wash is everything. The peppermint and the eucalyptus create a cooling sensation on your skin which is surprisingly pleasant, especially with the hot water! The smell (as I’ve said about every product thus far) is also wonderful. It lathers really well, which I know is sometimes not found in vegan products and is therefore the reason some people refuse to use them, because they feel as if it isn’t properly “cleaning” them. vegan prodddd.jpgveganprodeddd.jpgThis lotion is super creamy and leaves your skin feeling so soft (and smelling pretty darn good as well.) I’ve also used the rose one which is TO DIE for. I’ll most likely use that one again once I’ve run out, but unfortunately, I couldn’t seem to find it. These lotions also seem to last for a decent amount of time, probably due to the thickness of them. A little goes a long way. vproddd.jpgThis is the face lotion I’m currently using and as I mentioned above, the rose scent is unbelievable so of course once I found it in “facial form”, it was a must. Again, a little goes a long way with this so it lasts quite a while.veganprodddddddddd.jpgThis was a short post but I really wanted to share with you guys how easy it is to find products like these now! I know for a fact that most of you guys go to Target (once or twice a week, if you’re like me), so definitely check these out!

MEAL PREPPING // WORKING COLLEGE STUDENT 

While food is clearly one of my passions in life, cooking it during the week is not. Between work and school, the LAST thing I feel like doing is coming home and having to think of what to make for lunch or dinner. On Sunday’s I take a few hours to just put together some staple items that I know I can be very versatile with (such as beans and potatoes) and that way I can simply grab them and throw something quick and easy together when in a rush!

I obviously eat more than just what’s pictured but for when I am in a hurry, these items are what I go for. I love beans because you can literally put them on anything! Salads, baked potatoes, wraps, sandwiches, and they are full of protein. I also love having cooked rice on hand because it’s so easy to just throw some veggies on top! One of my favorite things to do with these types of foods is to create a “Buddha bowl” which is basically a combination of different plant foods. I love to add rice, chickpeas, broccoli or leafy greens and a sweet potato! So hearty and delicious and it leaves me feeling completely satisfied.What are some of your staple vegan items that you always have on hand for the week ahead?! I want to know!

IT SNOWED IN VIRGINIA

It finally snowed here a few days ago and BOY was I beyond excited for it. I absolutely love the snow and I always have. It brings back so many special memories from when I was a small child, whether it be sledding with all the kids in the neighborhood or drinking hot chocolate while watching each and every snowflake fall from the sky. Call me crazy, but I actually enjoy the whole “snowed in” feeling that seems to drive most people up a wall. It doesn’t worry me or irritate me in the slightest.

It’s nice to sometimes be “forced” to stay at home because for some of us, it’s that “force” that allows us to spend more time with our family and just RELAX. I certainly enjoyed every moment of it especially because in this state it can go from 10 degrees one day to 70 degrees the next. Seriously, that happens frequently here, so you never know if the snow that you have is going to be the only snow that you get for the entire year. Will the dog pictures ever stop…. Never.I hope that those of you that received snow over the weekend had a wonderful and SAFE time! And for those of you that hated every second of it, I sincerely apologize 😉

BBQ CHICKPEA PITA SANDWICHES WITH RANCH

This sandwich is so crazy simple and I actually find myself craving it! It’s so filling and hearty and the flavors are my favorite. I’ve always been a huge barbecue + ranch fan so when this idea hit me I knew it was going to be great. Before I get into it, I have to mention how fantastic this VEGAN (yes, life is beautiful) ranch is. A few months ago a friend of mine told me about this brand of dressing called Hampton Creek that is completely vegan at Target. I immediately went and found it and I’ve been hooked ever since. Their products are DELICIOUS and are a total win with my family and I. But, anyways, lets get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 can of garbanzo beans or chickpeas (I use about half of a can and then save the other half for another day, so using the entire can could feed two people)
  • Pita bread
  • Vegan ranch (I use Hampton Creek because it’s the best)
  • Barbecue sauce
  • Nutritional Yeast
  • Greens to top with (I use a spinach or kale mix, typically)ingredient.jpg

You’ll want to thoroughly rinse the beans under cool water and then let them dry. Place them into a small pot on the stove and mix in the nutritional yeast and barbecue sauce (to taste) over medium to slightly below medium heat. Cook for 7-10 minutes or until they are the consistency that you like. rinse.jpg

beans

Then just simply scoop them into the pita bread (cut in half) and top with lettuce and ranch! Super yummy and super easy. Hope you enjoyed!done.jpg

VEGAN ALTERNATIVE TO “PIGS IN A BLANKET”

VESAGE IN A BLANKET 

If it isn’t already obvious, I eat a plant-based diet and I enjoy turning different dishes that I used to enjoy into a more healthy and compassionate version! I used to love “pigs in a blanket” and my mom would make it every year on Christmas morning (she also now eats a plant-based diet as well). This “recipe”, and I put it in quotations because it’s just two ingredients, took all of 20 minutes to make!

Ingredients:

  • Regular crescent rounds (you can use the regular rolls but the rounds require less cutting, and they’re vegan!)
  • Any type of plant-based sausage that you want (I used the Field Roast Smoked Apple Sage)

You’ll want to preheat your oven to 375 or whatever temperature your crescent rounds require! Just follow the cooking instructions on the back. Next, you’ll want to pull apart your crescent rounds and make the pieces two inches long. The vegan sausage will need to be cut into fourths, so in half and then in half again, and you’ll want to make the pieces two inches long as well. Simple wrap the crescent rounds around the sausage and then bake for 13 minutes, or again, however long your crescent rolls require to bake!img_0114And that’s it! Serve with some mustard and you’re good to go.